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Many people have been taken aback by Chris Hedges' vehement and incendiary denunciation of "the Black Bloc anarchists" in his latest Truthdig effort titled "The Cancer in Occupy."

While Hedges has long been known for pulling no rhetorical punches when it comes to the High and the Mighty, the Ruling Elites, the Liberal Class, and so forth, this piece seems distinctly out of character for him.

As a rule, he does not attack the powerless, nor does he dispute the necessity for rebels and activists to "stand up, fight back." He has celebrated class warfare, the Greek riots, and the spirit of defiance and confrontation that permeates some of the overseas activism, rebellion, and in various places Revolution.

But if a bottle is thrown in New York -- by someone who was apparently dressed in black -- or someone wrote something years ago in a no longer published anarchist journal that was critical of Zapatistas, he has a very public meltdown over it.

Somehow, "the Black Bloc anarchists" got so deeply under his skin that he decided to lash out at them, hurling invective, smearing and denouncing them in a kind of hysterical overload that is wildly out of proportion to the actual presence of Black Bloc activism within the Occupy Movement.

It got people's attention, but to what object?

It doesn't even make rational sense. For example, Hedges claims that violent police crackdowns on Occupy encampments came "precisely because they were nonviolent."

And yet he and others make the contradictory claim that the police justified their violent crackdowns on Occupy encampments because of "the Black Bloc anarchists" and their supposed violence -- which is patently false.

He attacks a writer for an anarchist journal that's no longer published for criticizing the Zapatistas. He falsely asserts that Black Bloc is yet another of the innumerable Occupy Movement hijackers, yet he can point to no example of hijacking by Black Bloc -- in a Movement that was founded by anarchists.

Anarchists are the ones who made the intellectual and initial physical space for there to even BE an Occupy Movement.

He attacks anarchists and Black Bloc for making and deploying shields to protect themselves during the J28 actions in Oakland. He attacks them for incidents of vandalism in Oakland during last November's General Strike. He attacks them for being "feral." He attacks them with false claims that they looted in Oakland last November. He attacks them for being "criminals."

He attacks them for "hypermasculinity..." He laughably accuses them of "incohate rage." Has he ever seen or actually talked to anyone participating in the very, very rare Black Bloc actions associated with Occupy? "Hypermasculine?" "Incohate rage?" What a crock.

That's the kind of talk, though, that is permeating a portion of the so-called "Nonviolence" community, in what appears to be a coordinated national effort (under the rubric of a "national conversation") to purge the Occupy Movement of "the anarchists."

Attacks on "the Black Bloc anarchists" have been intensifying for weeks; the "national conversation" has largely been about how to suppress and get rid of them. The focus on Black Bloc (and the smearing of "the anarchists" that goes with it) is wildly out of proportion to their numbers and what they have actually done.

Hedges is in a dither because someone dressed in black threw a bottle in New York during a march in solidarity with Occupy Oakland. Black Bloc? Anarchist? Who knows, it doesn't matter to Hedges, he's hurling accusations. Someone threw a bottle, therefore there is a "cancer" in Occupy.

There were incidents of vandalism in Oakland last November. Therefore there is a "cancer" in Occupy.

Somebody burned a flag in front of the AP cameras in Oakland on J28: "cancer."

Shields were made and deployed by activists to protect themselves from police fire in Oakland on J28: "cancer."

Notice the focus on Oakland? Of course. Oakland is the center of energy for the Movement. It has easily the most militant Occupy community in the country. OO has succeeded in doing something very frightening to those in power: it has thoroughly de-legitimized the authority of city officials and their police protectors. Oakland's militancy has had a startling -- and very threatening -- success in discrediting and de-legitimizing the power structure of the city, as the recent absurdist confrontation over the sound system demonstrated.

The response from people like Hedges is telling: Occupy Oakland is violent, the anarchists and Black Bloc are destroying the Movement. They throw things. They are a "cancer."

Right.

What they do is stand up and fight back -- nonviolently. It's working. And that is terrifying to people like Chris Hedges.

Here's a somewhat densely reasoned unpacking of what Hedges is up to, posted at OLA Anti-Social Media which bills itself as:

an online black bloc against the Obstructionists, the Reformists, and the Liberals who have occupied the choke points of presumed power and leadership roles within our leaderless movement in order to further oppress marginalized voices, promote lies, and foist their own insidious agenda of abusive control upon OLA.
It's sad that it has come to this. Perhaps it was inevitable, though.

Originally posted to felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 05:11 AM PST.

Also republished by Trolls.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Since anarchists founded and have been integral to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orson, pdxwoman

      sustaining the Occupy Movement and its continuing success all along, I guess you don't want a successful movement, then, do you?

      But at least you're not holding back on your violent rhetoric.

      So there is that.

      Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

      by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 05:27:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Either you are talking about (18+ / 0-)

        a different group of anarchists, or the anarchists really do not deserve credit for starting Occupy. The people I saw initially were not seeking lawlessness--they were seeking to exercise their rights under the law to effect change in government (not its abolition). They were willing to commit acts of civil disobedience, but not go to war with law enforcement. Many were people who believe strongly in good government and wanted more government action against a corrupt financial system. That is not an anarchist. There is a difference between defiance of the law to make a point and defiance of the law as a practice.

        We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

        by CatM on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 05:42:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  there are actually some decent anarchists around. (12+ / 0-)

          I've run into them from time to time: smart, principled, considerate, and nonviolent.

          The 924 Gilman Street club (from whence came Green Day, Rancid, and a number of other successful local bands) started out as the Anarchist Community Center.

          So we should be clear to differentiate between the "good anarchists" and the "bad anarchists" or "anarkiddies" as a friend of mine calls the latter, the "black bloc" who are neither black nor from around the block but who get off on trashing and smashing.

          The key to this is to not let the baddies co-opt anyone else who wears the proverbial circle-A logo. Isolate the arseholes from the rest of the community so we can get on with legitimate protests and not have to endure another riot.

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:02:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not riots, but (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            markthshark
            This is a struggle to win the hearts and minds of the wider public and those within the structures of power (including the police) who are possessed of a conscience. It is not a war. Nonviolent movements, on some level, embrace police brutality. The continuing attempt by the state to crush peaceful protesters who call for simple acts of justice delegitimizes the power elite. It prompts a passive population to respond. It brings some within the structures of power to our side and creates internal divisions within the network of authority. Martin Luther King kept holding marches in Birmingham because he knew Public Safety Commissioner “Bull” Connor was a thug who would overreact.

            The Black Bloc’s thought-terminating cliché of “diversity of tactics” in the end opens the way for hundreds or thousands of peaceful marchers to be discredited by a handful of hooligans.

            - Chris Hedges

            "...just ordinary people, you know, people who are not famous, if they get together, if they persist, if they defy the authorities, they can defeat the largest corporation in the world. - Howard Zinn

            by Sean X on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 11:00:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  You can keep believing that "anarchists" (19+ / 0-)

        started Occupy. And if they didn't have the support of the people like me, who believe government is necessary, Occupy would be 18 guys standing around in black clothes with bandanas on their faces, getting absolutely nowhere. They have never gotten anywhere, and they never will.

        •  That's funny (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pdxwoman, felix19

          I personally know more than 18 anarchists, and we have been doing a lot of really good work within Occupy.

          I am glad you are so quick to dismiss things you clearly don't understand.

          Solidarity forever, huh?

          Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper spray soon to be declared a vegetable.

          by JustJennifer on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 04:31:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  No significant [progressive] change... (13+ / 0-)

        has ever come about as a result of anarchy in the streets.

        Anarchy invokes contempt and fear.

        Nonviolent protest with a message invokes interest and support.

        Want change?

        Occupy. (nonviolently)

        That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history. ~ Aldous Huxley

        by markthshark on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 05:49:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  you're making excuses for assholes. (9+ / 0-)

        By attacking Hedges, you're making excuses for selfish assholes whose goal is to hijack the movement, stir up violence, and use innocent protesters as human shields from the tear gas and projectiles that are the inevitable result.

        Shameful.

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 05:55:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Chris Hedges is lashing out wildly at (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pdxwoman

          phantoms. There is almost no Black Bloc activity within the movement; it is literally so rare as to be absent. Just because stands up to police brutality and official acts of terror doesn't mean they're Black Bloc. Hedges has to go back to November of last year to find any significant Black Bloc action, and that involved the breaking of a few windows and some graffiti.

          His over the top rhetoric is dangerous to actual human beings who might get swept up by his wild accusations. What's shameful is Hedges' dehumanization tactic, the same one used by the totalitarian systems he claims to deplore.

          I'm not making excuses for anyone. The hijacking of the movement -- if there is one -- is not coming from anarchists or Black Bloc.

          Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

          by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:07:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think the anarchists (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          markthshark

          are doing it for no other reason than they love making trouble, throwing shit and acting like it's for some good reason to do so. They get off on it.
          Better to heed the likes of Gandhi*, who advocated non-violence. Only through non-violence to you show your enemies for what they are and garner support from those who might listen to your message. The minute you use violence they'll tune you out.

          *My experience teaches me that truth can never be propagated by doing violence.
          *It is my firm conviction that nothing enduring can be built on violence.

          A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. Franklin D. Roosevelt

          by MA Liberal on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 09:22:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  What brand of Anarchist do you refer to? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan, Sylv

        Would that be Black Bloc, Tide or Mr Clean?

        I find this rather laughable.

        What we don't need, are people, whatever they call themselves, however they dress and whatever they profess, stirring up violence and trashing venues because that is counter-productive.

        Since anarchists founded and have been integral to sustaining the Occupy Movement and its continuing success all along, I guess you don't want a successful movement, then, do you?
        Oh, my. No doubt this qualifies them as the elite of this popular movement, so would you care to hang some numbers on how many anarchists are in the movement and how much they have contributed so we can understand why it would fail without them?

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:26:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It might not fail (0+ / 0-)

          without them. Who knows?

          Why such an intense push to purge them?

          That's the question.

          Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

          by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 08:19:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because violence solves NOTHING (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PsychoSavannah, aliasalias

            Violence anywhere in the movement is completely counterproductive. Violence gives the media a reason to bash it. It gives Republicans the reason to bash it. And it will turn off the average American to whom the Occupy movement is trying to reach.

            While there may not be "Black Block" anarchists involved, there are certainly those who are working either together, or individually, to foment violence. They might be a few bad apples. They might be right wing agent provocateurs. Doesn't matter. ANYONE who either advocates, or perpetrates, violence within the Occupy movement should be thrown out post haste.

            Why would you EVER advocate violence of any kind in the movement?

            A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. Franklin D. Roosevelt

            by MA Liberal on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 09:27:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Who has advocated violence? (0+ / 0-)

              Not me. Nor would I.

              But I hope you'll think a little more about the implications of what you are saying.

              As I've said, Occupy is intrinsically nonviolent. This is not at all a violent resistance campaign.

              Even if there are very rare incidents of vandalism or throwing things, it's still a nonviolent resistance campaign. Same with a burned flag or a broken window. These things do not change the nature of the movement into a violent resistance campaign.

              The Egyptian People rose up nonviolently and they are still in the process of their revolution -- it's not over by any means. There have been gross acts of brutality and murder by the authorities and sometimes the People fight back -- with bottles, rocks, shields, whatever they have at hand. They are not fighting back with firearms nor are they or threatening to use deadly force against their attackers. Even though they sometimes fight back, they are still engaged in nonviolent resistance.

              Would you say that under those circumstances, the Egyptians are wrong to fight back the way they do?

              It helps to have some perspective on these things.

              Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

              by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 10:08:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Purge them? (0+ / 0-)

            I read that as a broadside criticism of them in quite clearly defined terms.

            Hedges is hardly in a position to "purge" anyone from this movement and says no such thing.

            If OWS is truly a leaderless meritocracy, by what means would one group or another be purged?

            The irony! The irony!

            Refer to my quote from David Graeber elsewhere, in so many words he agrees with Hedges when he states "We are not going to beat the 101st Airborne" (paraphrased).

            What Black Bloc is doing simply does not make sense except in the most extreme circumstances. The movement does not need provocateurs, the Police seem convincingly capable of playing that role.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 10:38:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're aware of what Graeber has to say about (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Publius2008

              the difference between violence and um, er... "violence?"

              ...I feel I should clarify a bit on what we’re calling “violence.”

              The Egyptian uprising against Mubarak is generally seen as having been successful in this way because of non-violence, as indeed it was. However when I talked to Egyptians involved in organizing it, they said things like “sure we were non-violent. We just threw rocks. We never used guns or anything like that.” Which kind of brings home that how protestors acts are reported and perceived means a lot too. It would be extremely difficult to create a way to ensure that when a crowd is being assaulted by riot cops with plastic bullets, let alone real bullets, no one will even so much as chuck a bottle at them, or throw back a tear gas canister. But we have plenty people here in the US who claim that even strong language (“fuck the police”) on the part of protestors being attacked is a form of violence and somehow justifies those attacks or anyway is the only thing worthy of report from the event.

              If events like have been happening in Syria were happening in the US, the US media, despite not being directly controlled by the government, would have reported them exactly like the Syrian government-controlled media did: just repeat whatever the army and police said, note protestor “violence” of any kind and never describe the army and police violence as “violence” but only as a response, etc etc.

              So we have to understand there’s a difference between not attempting a military solution, which is not only ineffective, as you note, but also will pretty much guarantee if you win nasty things will happen, and total pacifism. And I would encourage everyone to be careful not to frame things in ways that play into the hands of media whose first instinct will always be to justify official violence against protestors who – while one or two might break some glass or throw something against armored riot cops (basically an expressive act) – are not setting out to actually hurt someone.

              So you see, it's not quite as black and white (in a manner of speaking) as some people want to make it.

              Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

              by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 01:02:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Regardless of how one feels about violence (0+ / 0-)

                Quite clearly Graeber does not feel it is appropriate in this case given his statement I quoted. He obviously had an opportunity to join in the group who attempted to break through the police line and chose not to, so if actions speak louder than words it's reasonable to suppose he would not classify that as "self-expression".

                Now I am wondering, if 1,000 cops follow the rules of engagement and one or two chose to toss a tear gas canister, do we call that self-expression? Who and how to judge this?

                And what if the "self-expression" of a handful of protesters breaking glass, painting buildings and shouting "Fuck the Cops" poisons the movement's goals to obtain social and economic justice that is for the greater good?

                I respect Graeber as an intelligent and serious person, but part company with him when it comes to the absolute rights of individuals over collective social obligations which are the basis of civilization. Graeber's political philosophy is based on the principle that individuals can and will self-regulate negating the need for rule of law and the process of state; yet reality seems quite at odds with that assumption and rouge cops and rouge protesters continue to demonstrate.

                As I recall, he once stated in an interview, when questioned how his ideal of collective consensus would work should individuals (perhaps in a fit of self-expression) refused the will of the group, that the group could decide to push the individual off a cliff to his death. Strangely contradictory.

                Sounds a bit like mob rule to me. That's how lynchings work.

                And that' s why anarchy, so far, has failed. Bad apples exist.

                But taking Grarber's advice, a group might just decide to purge Black Bloc, no?

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 04:59:21 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Please pay attention to what he and I and many (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Liberaltarian

                  others who believe as we do about the question of violence vs "violence" are saying.

                  The kinds of acts that are being obsessed on -- whether it is a broken window or a thrown bottle -- are "violent" yes, but insignificant in the larger scheme. They are not in any way remotely comparable to the state violence unleashed against civil resistance.

                  It is an obscenity to keep trying to conflate the two.

                  Please re-read the quote I posted. That's the essence of the issue right there.

                  Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

                  by felix19 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 11:23:10 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Well, that gets it all off to a good start. Lol. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      felix19

      Greed's self-regulation is collapse. So is delusion's.

      by Publius2008 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 04:11:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      felix19

      As an anarcho-syndicalist I take great offense to you telling me I have no place in society.

      Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper spray soon to be declared a vegetable.

      by JustJennifer on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 04:29:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  and so it begins... (5+ / 0-)

    the commies and the anarchists have been fighting since Marx and Bakunin.

    The nicest and most intelligent people are the ones that share my point of view.

    by jbou on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 05:24:33 AM PST

  •  Wow - a black bloc supporter with a diary (19+ / 0-)

    This article by Chris Hedges, an anarchist himself, hit the nail on the head about the the infiltration of OWS that can kill off the revolution it has begun.

    He describes how the Black Bloc anarchists use violence which leads to discredit the OWS movement and keep many people away from the streets.

    Chris posts on www.truthdig.com and usually only gets a few comments on his posts. The over the top reaction to his article shows the paid trolls are out to kill off his message in order to keep the violence going in OWS.

    Over at www.commondreams.org, which is farther to the left than here at dailykos.co, the comments now number 396. One can see from the comments the ongoing attack at all levels.

    Chris Hedges is a treasure.

    •  The Occupy Movement (0+ / 0-)

      Is inherently a Nonviolent Resistance Campaign; there isn't even a hint of engaging in a Violent Resistance anywhere in the Occupy Movement, not even among so-called "Black Bloc anarchists." Vandalism and mischief caused by Black Bloc is vanishingly rare in the Occupy Movement, even in Oakland, "scary Oakland", but even if it were every day, and everywhere, it would not constitute a Violent Resistance Campaign.

      Hedges is lashing out wildly at phantoms.

      His tactic is dehumanization, little different than the dehumanization campaigns of the totalitarian systems he claims to oppose.

      I thought he was better than this.

      Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

      by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 05:47:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  where's the "nonviolence" in smashed windows? nt (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hooper, Palafox, Deep Texan, CatM, MA Liberal

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:03:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Consider the difference between (0+ / 0-)

          a Violent and a Nonviolent Resistance Campaign.

          Here's a hint:

          A Nonviolent Resistance Campaign is characterized by a strategy of disobedience and unarmed confrontation with illegitimate authority.

            A Violent Resistance Campaign on the other hand is characterized by a strategy of armed insurrection and use of deadly force against illegitimate authority.

            See the difference? Armed/unarmed? Insurrection/disobedience? Deadly force/confrontation? They're not the same thing. What is the same is the object of the resistance campaign: illegitimate authority.

          Where do the infamous Oakland broken windows (last November) fit in context?

          Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

          by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:22:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  oh, so it's only violent when it's "deadly" force? (6+ / 0-)

            In which case the Oakland Police have been totally nonviolent. Right?

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:28:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "Less lethal" is not "non lethal." (0+ / 0-)

              Hundreds of people have been wounded by Oakland police using "less lethal" not "non lethal" munitions since the start of Occupy Oakland. Some have been nearly killed by police fire, as I would think everyone would know by now.

              The police are not just threatening, they are using potentially deadly force in their ongoing, futile efforts to suppress Occupy Oakland.

              On the other hand, no one involved with Occupy Oakland is using armed force against them or in any context connected with Occupy Oakland.

              No, the OPD has not been "nonviolent." They are actively engaged in a Violent Campaign against a Nonviolent -- and unarmed -- opposition. Or haven't you noticed?

              Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

              by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:43:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  same for thrown rocks and smashed glass. (0+ / 0-)

                Both have been known to kill.

                "Less lethal."

                Goose, gander, and all the goslings too.

                "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                by G2geek on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:28:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Scott Olsen was not hit by a rock (0+ / 0-)

                  Nor were the hundreds of other people wounded by police in Oakland and across the land...

                  Funny I can't recall seeing evidence of a single injury from a thrown rock or thrown anything for that matter; lots of injuries from rubber bullets, tear gas and flash bang canisters, bludgeoning, tasering, etc, etc....

                  Police department press releases don't count as evidence of rock-hit police. Especially not if they're from OPD. Sorry.

                  Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

                  by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:06:15 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  dude, stop making excuses and.... (0+ / 0-)

                    ... go study water supply & waste disposal.

                    Seriously. Go get a couple of good books on those topics and read up. Might do you a world of good. Nobody will support your revolution if it comes along with a cholera epidemic.

                    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                    by G2geek on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:52:23 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, injuries--in Oakland (0+ / 0-)

                    Only speaking of my own injuries (hit by full water bottles, knocked down by barricade movers and stepped on by a boot) but people do get hurt. By something thrown, or by non-black block marchers being left to bear the brunt of the police response.

                    I haven't seen an accurate depiction of anarchy and anarchists so far (too late to read them all tonight) in this comment section--it actually doesn't mean chaos, just the opposite. But whatever the black block is or thinks it is in now conceivable way excuses the kind of violence that OPD dumps and has dumped on the city of Oakland.

                    OPD treats target communties without professionalism or integrity; they kill people. The blue wall of silence vs. hysterical/incompetent city officials have created a rogue police deparment. It's been this way so many years that the culture is part of the institution. and touches all its officers. And they turn into beasts with any, including imagined and manufactured, provocation.

                    Black block tactics don't accomplish anything that I became a part of Occupy Oakland to do, until they made OPD show its real self to the world. Maybe that will lead to its reform. We're working very hard to to see that happens.

                    She didn't know it couldn't be done, so she went ahead and did it.

                    by Boadicaea on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 12:46:46 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Sorry you got hurt (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Liberaltarian

                      It is, as you note, one of the hazards of confrontations like the necessary ones in Oakland.

                      Police misconduct and fundamental reform haven't seemed to be serious issues of interest to city authority for many a year, even after all those lawsuits, all those payouts to victims, consent decrees and all the rest of it, OPD was still a rogue force going into the Occupy era.

                      Now that more people can see at least part of the horrors they perpetrate, change may come in our lifetimes. If these confrontations hadn't happened, it might not come at all.

                      Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

                      by felix19 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:55:19 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Dont get me started . . . (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        felix19

                        History of Riders case: Judgment 8 years ago (called Negotiated Settlement Agreement) called for specific reforms of OPD in 5 years. NSA extended the last 3 years. Attorneys and judge disgusted and exhausted. No progress--literally--except for a demotion recently. Any policy changes are reversed. It's a travesty. Costs the city $3.2m a years to keep it going. My suggestion to de la Fuente was comply with the fucking thing and save your people's jobs. Duh. No City Council has ever asked to meet with the attorneys overseeing the NSA (Most represented plaintiffs in the Riders case to begin with).

                        Civilian Police Review Board asked to have a forum on OPD with citizens testifying to their experiences. It got big, Occupy was to be a part of it. Set for 2/9. City pressure, cancelled last week. OO committee been working HARD and will hold the forum--even similar agenda--on 2/9, but as OO Forum Including the CPRB. At a large theater with video/still presentation of OPD doing what they do so well on the big screen, and many people testifying.

                        Wish us luck. Because community pressure is key--now on the federal oversight--NOT the Justice Dept, federal court system--which now has power to ORDER an action or ORDER desist to OPD. Before, it was "suggesting."

                        To me this is how whatever Occupy did to get in OPDs sights can be used to gut that department and make it responsive to its communities. Instead of laying siege to them and practicing genocide. Wish us luck again.

                        She didn't know it couldn't be done, so she went ahead and did it.

                        by Boadicaea on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 12:01:10 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

          •  working definition of violence: (6+ / 0-)

            Intention and action to harm people or destroy property.

            Violence does not include peaceful sit-ins that block access to property.

            Violence does not include "littering" in the form of posting printed material in a manner whereby it can be removed from surfaces without causing damage (or any more significant damage than a small area of removed paint stuck to the tape).

            Violence does not include un-intentional damage such as when a crowd has a protest in a grassy field in the rain, and some of the grass gets trampled into mud.

            Violence does not include making messes that are not health hazards and that can be cleaned up by conventional janitorial or sanitation methods, for example filling up a corporate office lobby area with styrofoam peanuts that can be swept up without harm.

            Violence does include inciting others to commit violent acts: that's "violence by proxy."

            There are some rare and specific cases where intentional damage to property can occur in the context of a nonviolent protest, but these are difficult to categorize in advance and much depends on the known history of actions by the individual or group in question.

            Self-defense is legitimate so long as one has not taken aggressive actions that placed oneself in the position where physical self-defense has become necessary. For example if the KKK show up in your front yard and attempt to break down your door or torch your house, it's justifiable to use a firearm in self-defense. These types of instances are also relatively rare nowadays.

            Self-defense does not include instances such as e.g. getting into fights with police after throwing rocks at them. That falls under the heading of inciting others to violence, or taking aggressive acts that provoke violence.

            Anyone care to add/subtract/change/comment on any of this?

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:49:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  So, if throwing bottles and vandalizing property.. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, hooper, Deep Texan, CatM, Sylv

        ...were occurring

        every day, and everywhere, it would not constitute a Violent Resistance Campaign.
        ?????

        If black bloc, which includes tactics such as vandalism, rioting and street fighting, does not constitute violent resistance, what exactly do you consider to be violent resistance?

        I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

        by ObamOcala on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:03:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  When the focus is on minutae (0+ / 0-)

          such as a thrown bottle or a broken window, it's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.

          A Nonviolent Resistance Campaign is characterized by a strategy of disobedience and unarmed confrontation with illegitimate authority.

            A Violent Resistance Campaign on the other hand is characterized by a strategy of armed insurrection and use of deadly force against illegitimate authority.

            See the difference? Armed/unarmed? Insurrection/disobedience? Deadly force/confrontation? They're not the same thing. What is the same is the object of the resistance campaign: illegitimate authority.

          No one associated with Occupy in any way, including the handful of vandals, Black Bloc or not, is engaged in or advocating a Violent Resistance Campaign. Occupy Oakland is not engaged in a Violent Resistance Campaign.

          I am not making excuses for vandals, bottle throwers or flag-burners, nor do I agree with all Black Bloc tactics -- though I definitely support Black Bloc efforts to protect the wounded from further assault by the police.

          My point is that even if a bottle is thrown, a flag is burned or a window is broken, it is not even remotely equivalent to an armed insurrection or the threat or use of deadly force, ie: a Violent Resistance Campaign.

          This simple distinction seems to be a completely foreign concept to many people who should know better.

          Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

          by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:35:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  A thrown bottle is not "minutae"... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            koNko, highacidity, Deep Texan, Sylv

            ...if it hits you (or a police officer, or an innocent bystander) in the head.

            Even one incident of violence, even a relatively "minute" amount of violence, can be used by the right-wing echo chamber to discredit the entire movement.

            Sorry, but OWS must, to keep its integrity and maintain public support, have zero tolerance for black bloc techniques.

            I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

            by ObamOcala on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:25:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  When we glorify a few individuals (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            felix19

            At the expense of a movement, that is when we lose sight of the bigger picture.

            If these anarchists/whatever are really dedicated to the cause, then they will ignore Hedges and not get dragged down in the minutia of petty political infighting and venal haggling over brand ownership.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:34:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Was it "minutiae" .... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            highacidity

            ... when Scott Olsen got hit in the head with a tear gas projectile?

            I mean, gesh, stuff happens, right?

            So what if people get hit with rocks or bottles of flying glass, it's no biggie, right?

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 08:17:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Who shot Scott Olsen? (0+ / 0-)

              How many hundreds of wounded have there been in Oakland, New York, all over the country?

              How many thousands arrested and held in torturous conditions in a brutal detention system?

              Who has done this?

              Who is responsible?

              Focusing on a thrown bottle or a few broken windows or someone else's attire when hundreds of people have already been wounded, some of them nearly killed, in this struggle is about as bass ackwards a sense of priority as I can imagine.

              What will it take to restore a sense of proportion?

              Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

              by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 08:42:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not the one trivializing violence. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Boadicaea

                Don't excuse it, and don't provide excuses for it. That's what I think.

                "We obviously are never going to defeat the 101st airborne division on the streets," said anthropologist and anarchist David Graeber, addressing that general assembly. "Where we win is when we are able to convince the 101st airborne division not to shoot us."
                Apparently, at least one notable self-professed anarchist agrees with me.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 09:58:20 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Whose violence? (0+ / 0-)

                  This is the problem: when the police go on a rampage firing at and injuring hundreds and nearly killing several demonstrators, when they arrest them by the hundreds and hold them in torturous conditions, all sense of perspective and proportion somehow gets lost to focus -- as Hedges does -- on an article in a no longer published anarchist journal, broken windows in Oakland that happened in November, and a thrown bottle in New York during a march in solidarity with Occupy Oakland.

                  How can Hedges or anyone else not focus on the violence being constantly unleashed on demonstrators, violence that is perpetrated against them whether or not the demonstrators throw a bottle or break a window?

                  The focus is on the wrong subject.

                  The thrown bottle should not even be an issue -- at least not in the context of the growing levels of official violence unleashed against the demonstrators, violence which would be occurring whether or not that bottle was thrown.

                  Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

                  by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 10:51:30 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Violence begets violence. Full stop. (0+ / 0-)

                    Do you understand the tactics and strategy of non-violent protest and civil disobedience?

                    Sometimes you are met with violence and have to flip-the table with non-violence.

                    Read Dr. King.

                    What about my Daughter's future?

                    by koNko on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 08:55:00 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Good god (almighty!) (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Brown Thrasher, Liberaltarian

                      That you would even ask such a question...

                      Let me put it this way:

                      The lessons of Dr. King and Mahatma Gandhi and Cesar Chavez among many other practitioners have been learned very well by the Overclass. They have no intention of letting THAT kind of thing succeed again, and they're very good at maintaining a tight lid on allowable protest tactics and strategies.

                      They've got it down to a science.

                      Think about what you've been taught about King and Gandhi and Chavez (do you know of him? I'm finding that even people in California's Central Valley have never heard of him and have no idea what he did) and then compare and contrast what they did to successful nonviolent movements since the 1970's, and then ask yourself why we are constantly being told to learn about King and Gandhi (and ignore Chavez) while nonviolent resistance campaigns since then, which aren't necessarily based on their practices, are not subjects of such intense reverence and study.

                      Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

                      by felix19 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 11:36:51 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

      •  You've said more than once here (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        highacidity, Knarfc
        His tactic is dehumanization, little different than the dehumanization campaigns of the totalitarian systems he claims to oppose.
        Using hyperbole to accuse someone of hyperbole!
        I don't see dehumanization in the Hedge column
        and it doesn't remind me at all of a totalitarian system
        It reminds me of someone opining
      •  Actually, you are the one "Lashing Out" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sylv, aliasalias

        I read Hedges post as well as the counter-point.

        Neither comes even close to a rant. Rather, both offer well-reasoned debate while taking strong, and in part, opposite positions. I find Hedges more lucid and persuasive of the two; the response piece makes so pretty far-fetched and specious arguments, but also some good points.

        This diary and quite a few or your comments, on the other hand, are emotional rants.

        I hope you got it off your chest. Really I do.

        I have recd this diary because it addresses a subject in need or debate, but I can't tip it because you don't make a case against Hedges and failing to convince, have gone over the top in the comment.

        "Dehumanization"? Hardly. Chill-out.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 08:11:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for your input (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koNko

          I don't agree, naturally, but you've made some points worth pondering.

          As for dehumanization and scapegoating -- which I see as the point of Hedges' broadside -- they are among the most dangerous rhetorical weapons he could use. He seemed to do it very carelessly and irresponsibly.

          I have countered falsehood with truth in my comments.

          Thanks again.

          Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

          by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 08:49:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think you are over-reacting (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aliasalias

            Which, of course, is just my opinion.

            Suggest you give it a couple of days and then re-read what he had to say. I don't think he's dehumanizing anyone. Quite to the contrary, he makes a rational case for non-violance and notes:

            The corporate state understands and welcomes the language of force. It can use the Black Bloc’s confrontational tactics and destruction of property to justify draconian forms of control and frighten the wider population away from supporting the Occupy movement. Once the Occupy movement is painted as a flag-burning, rock-throwing, angry mob we are finished. If we become isolated we can be crushed. The arrests last weekend in Oakland of more than 400 protesters, some of whom had thrown rocks, carried homemade shields and rolled barricades, are an indication of the scale of escalating repression and a failure to remain a unified, nonviolent opposition. Police pumped tear gas, flash-bang grenades and “less lethal” rounds into the crowds. Once protesters were in jail they were denied crucial medications, kept in overcrowded cells and pushed around. A march in New York called in solidarity with the Oakland protesters saw a few demonstrators imitate the Black Bloc tactics in Oakland, including throwing bottles at police and dumping garbage on the street. They chanted “Fuck the police” and “Racist, sexist, anti-gay / NYPD go away.”

            This is a struggle to win the hearts and minds of the wider public and those within the structures of power (including the police) who are possessed of a conscience. It is not a war. Nonviolent movements, on some level, embrace police brutality. The continuing attempt by the state to crush peaceful protesters who call for simple acts of justice delegitimizes the power elite. It prompts a passive population to respond. It brings some within the structures of power to our side and creates internal divisions that will lead to paralysis within the network of authority. Martin Luther King kept holding marches in Birmingham because he knew Public Safety Commissioner “Bull” Connor was a thug who would overreact.

            Emphasis mine.

            Well, who is Black Bloc? Some who self-identify as such do embrace violence and/or destructive tactics, train and plan for it, and have traveled from place to place to practice it, including Oakland. They have done so for years. One can agree or disagree with those tactics but suggesting they don't exist or cannot negatively influence events is nonsense. I think Hedges is quite clear about those he i taking to task by describing their behavior and is not lumping all anarchists or activists together by any means.

            Those not meeting his profile are assumed not to be the object of his criticism.

            And please note he is equally if not more critical of the police, whom as you correctly note, more often than not have been instigators or provocateurs.

            Do you think he makes any sense about this in the section quoted above?

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 10:22:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's one of the places where he really (0+ / 0-)

              screws up because he doesn't really know what happened in Oakland, and I doubt he cares. He wants his Revolution cleaned up. Pronto!

              He sequencing is all wrong, cause/effect confused as hell, and he's trying to make believe the police were only responding to the "violence" of the crowd. And that somehow this has to do with Black Bloc.

              Not so.

              But he's hammering his point, and details just get in the way.

              Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

              by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 01:08:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  What I saw (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                koNko

                was that OPD provoked the demonstrators with police violence and some of the demonstrators took the bait.

                Black Bloc culture, i.e. their look, thier slogans, thier insistance that we embrace Diversity of Tactics, that anything goes, projects a violent image that few of them ever act out.

                But the OPD is not stupid, Black Bloc tactics and culture have layed OO open to be manipulated, provoked, and then vilified as violent by MSM. People, even in the Occupy movement itself, belief this spin because thats the image that BB projected. The Black Panther Party made the same mistake and became easy game for CoIntelPro to destroy.

                Who left the door open at Oakland City Hall on the night of J28? We can guess the answer. We should have expected it and be disciplined enough not to take the bait.

              •  I think he knows what happened (0+ / 0-)

                But in any case, the problem I saw was the group (Black Bloc/whomever) who charged the police line with shields and chain link fencing in a wedge.

                This is prevocational behavior guaranteed to meet a response from police in riot gear, no?

                What were these people expecting, the cops to turn and run?

                Seriously, this sort of stuff plays directly into the hands of the crypto-facist OPD and does the movement harm. That was Hedges point.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 08:52:48 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're fantasizing (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Brown Thrasher, Liberaltarian

                  There has been no Black Bloc action in Oakland or anywhere else in Occupy since last November when there was a one off Black Bloc that was roundly and very forcefully criticized for harming OO and the Movement.

                  There was no Black Bloc on J28.

                  What you saw was something else entirely, and it was not what you think you saw.

                  Not only are your details as inaccurate as are Hedges', your attributions of agency are as erroneous as his.

                  Which makes these kinds of broad brush denunciations -- especially of actions that haven't happened and accusations of people who weren't there -- worthless.

                  Many criticism could and should be leveled, but correct attribution makes a difference, as does accurate descriptions of events.

                  Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

                  by felix19 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 11:08:14 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  396 comments, from which we can assume.... (5+ / 0-)

      ... that maybe 300 of them are from the "black bloc" types. Realistically the black bloc number anywhere from 50 - 100 people (speaking from having seen them in action over the course of many years).

      Of those, probably 10 - 30 are writing those comments. Which means either they're writing repeated comments, or they're using sock puppets to make it look as if there are more of them than there really are.

      Some "vanguard of the revolution," huh.

      They may as well be on the Republican Party payroll.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 05:58:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am with Chris (13+ / 0-)

    The anarchists he is denouncing are destroying the credibility of the Occupy movement because most people do not for anarchy and destruction of property and desecration of the flag. For Occupy to represent the 99%, it needs to remain mindful of that; otherwise, ordinary people say, "Yeah, that doesn't represent me," and distance themselves from it. I know many people who were enthusiastic about Occupy who have been so turned off by the lawlessness, the vandalism, and the hostility that is spreading throughout the movement. It is sad to see something that had potential start to rot.

    We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

    by CatM on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 05:35:23 AM PST

  •  here: have some evidence that Chris is right: (11+ / 0-)

    http://www.surveyusa.com/...

    Download and look at the survey results.

    A strong plurality of Oakland's BLACK community (as in "black folks", not "the black bloc") believes that the police were not harsh enough with the rioters.

    Folks, when you lose the black community in a majority black city, you've just lost the game. No other way to say it.

    Time to reformat the proverbial hard drive and start from scratch. Without the "black bloc," who are neither black nor from around the block.

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 05:43:03 AM PST

    •  Actually that survey was not conducted in Oakland (0+ / 0-)

      You knew that, right?

      It was a Bay Area survey of 500 telephone respondents. Some of them might -- or might not -- have been in Oakland. We have no way of knowing. Oakland itself has a population of less than 400,000 in an overall Bay Area population of over 9 million. Attitudes toward Oakland in the Bay Area in general have almost nothing to do with attitudes of Oakland residents.

      In fact, Occupy Oakland has succeeded in completely discrediting and de-legitimizing Oakland city officials and their police forces.

      This is not only a stunning accomplishment, it is very threatening to any sensate power structure. The attacks on Occupy Oakland and the Oakland Commune have only just started. We ain't seen nothin' yet.

      Starting over after purging the anarchists and Black Bloc -- and suppressing Occupy Oakland once and for all? -- would comfort the powerful, no doubt.

      Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

      by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 05:57:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  excuses, excuses. (6+ / 0-)

        Oh, some of those 500 people might be living in LA and using cellphones with 510- area code!

        Some of them might only be saying they're black to fool the pollster.

        Only 500 people! (and did you ever study statistical methods?)

        Blah blah blah.

        Tell me now: how does smashing windows qualify as "nonviolence"...?

        And how does "de-legitimizing" a city government accomplish jack shit for anyone?

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:05:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And I have one more question for you.... (7+ / 0-)

        ..... and keep in mind that your answer to this one will affect a lot of peoples' opinions of you and your ideas:

        In the society you propose to create by whatever means, how do people get fresh drinking water, and how do they dispose of their sewage?

        Let's hear it.

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:07:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The evidence (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, hooper, Deep Texan, Palafox

        is that you are stunningly unpopular in the African American community, which overwhelmingly supports the police.

        Which is pretty fricken amazing.

        The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

        by fladem on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:09:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah, that is just shameful & disgraceful. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deep Texan

          Losing the support of the black community in a majority black city is just way over the edge into abject fail territory.

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:50:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The poll was not taken in Oakland (0+ / 0-)

            You know that, don't you?

            It was taken in "the Bay Area" which has an aggregate population of over 9 million; less than 400,000 of them live in Oakland.

            There is no way on earth to tell from this poll what the OAKLAND African American community's opinion of OO is.

            But if propaganda is your aim...

            Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

            by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:57:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Deep Texan

              I rather think denial is yours.

              Yours is the tactic of the fanatical: when the evidence shows you are wrong, you question the motives of the people citing the evidence.

              The idea that the Bay Area African American Community supports the police in this is simply amazing, and a testament to your ability to make enemies of people who should be your friends. Are we to conclude that for some strange reason SF African Americans have a completely different view than the Oakland African American Community?

              The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

              by fladem on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:07:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  OPD in Oakland (0+ / 0-)

              So many black men die here by shooters under color of authority (cops), and so many long-term community organizations have been working for years to end this, and so many African Americans in Oakland want their police department fixed.

              That will only affect the attitude--whatever it is--in the African American community here re Occupy Oakland if OO cares about that problem and is part of that solution.

              She didn't know it couldn't be done, so she went ahead and did it.

              by Boadicaea on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 12:56:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Wow (6+ / 0-)

      61% of African Americans in the SF area OPPOSE OWS.

      77% believe that the police have either been right or not harsh enough with the protesters. 75% oppose the oocupation of buildings

      That is the picture of a movement losing its grass roots support.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:00:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  From what I can see this poll confuses (0+ / 0-)

      OWS with 'the Occupy Movement", and 'Occupy Oakland', and you confuse 'rioters' with 'the Occupy Movement". And you confuse Oakland with the 'San Francisco Area'.

      Oakland is a 'majority black city'? I checked wikipedia which shows Oakland is 28% black and 34.5% white, in 2010. At one time Oakland may have had a larger black population, but I do not think it ever was a 'majority black city'.

      There is so much shooting from the hip in this diary and the comments it's hard for me to know what the diary is about, what is everyone's purpose or agenda.

      H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

      by Knarfc on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 11:35:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One always has to be ready for infiltrators. (10+ / 0-)

    When a movement is on the side of right, as is OWS, you're going to have push-back from those that want it crushed. That black bloc - are they paid to do this - to carry out their mission? Things have gotten out of hand in Oakland - why? Why in Oakland? Was it chosen to start the downward spiral of OWS? Perhaps. A closer look by Hedges is getting blasted? Why? Always to keep people off balance - to make them question their own convictions. What a shame.

    love the fetus, hate the child

    by Raggedy Ann on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 05:46:29 AM PST

  •  Sorry, Felix, I agree with the others... (17+ / 0-)

    ...commenting here. I'm not sure where you get the idea that Occupy was "founded" by anarchists. It is the brainchild of the gang at Adbusters, which - while anti-corporate - is decidely not anarchist, and certainly does not promote violent anarchism.

    It was determined from the beginning that Occupy should take its cue from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s civil rights movement. Occupiers were told to resist, but not to become violent. That means if even one bottle is thrown, it risks discrediting the entire movement.

    Occupy is not Black Bloc. Black Bloc is not Occupy, and Occupy supporters are right to be concerned that the presence of even a small number of Black Bloc vandals in their midst is a problem for Occupy's message of non-violent resistance to corporate power.

    I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

    by ObamOcala on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 05:47:30 AM PST

    •  Correct. (3+ / 0-)

      And all this adolescent noise about "founding the movement" and "you can't make it without us" says rather more than might have been intended.

      To my knowledge, the only anarchist of standing that has played a significant role is David Graeber and he is the intellectual variety not a glory seeking drama queen.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:51:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Adolescent noise" - exactly (0+ / 0-)

        Adolescent noise, adolescent violence and adolescent tantrums.

        And burning an American flag? Great optics there, assholes.

        We are the 98.999%. We don't need your kind of "help."

        Effective activism requires Activists -- Effecting radical change demands Radicals Revolutionaries? That's a whole different ball-game.

        by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 08:53:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I too, am with Hedges (8+ / 0-)

    Please be gone with you black block, you're not welcome.

    Anarchists are the ones who made the intellectual and initial physical space for there to even BE an Occupy Movement.
    Wow, big head much? Is that you Donald Trump behind that black scarf?
  •  and furthermore: (12+ / 0-)

    Fuck the vandals, fuck the rioters, fuck the outta-town white boys who dress like a gang of thugs and come to our town to smash and trash and throw rocks and get off on their broken glass fetish.

    They do not speak for us.

    When they smash windows at a coffee shop that has been in solidarity with the Occupy encampment, what that shows is that they are nothing more than a mob of thugs who are in it for their own jollies. They are sabotaging our movement. They are doing the work of the Plutocrats. They are providing every excuse for police crackdowns and bad attitudes from the city government.

    They have caused a major disgrace and given the right-wing media every excuse it needs to dump on us and write us off.

    Compare and contrast to almost everywhere else in the US, where Occupy protests have been peaceful, on-point, received positive news coverage, and gotten positive results politically. Even in places in the conservative Southeast.

    WE can do better. WE do not have to put up with a bunch of arseholes hijacking our movement. If the arseholes want to have wrecking & looting sprees, they can do it without the rest of us as their human shields, and take the tear gas and projectiles themselves rather than letting innocent protesters get hurt.

    Enough was enough long ago.

    Enough was enough after the same bunch of creeps stirred up shit during the Oscar Grant protests. Enough was enough when Oscar Grant's own family had to plead for peace. Enough was enough when the same bunch of assholes took advantage and smashed windows of black-owned businesses in Oakland, thereby pissing off the black community bigtime.

    Enough was enough then, and it still is.

    Violent assholes go away!, so we can get on with peaceful protests that get results!

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 05:53:17 AM PST

    •  Occupy Oakland-- (0+ / 0-)

      which you are now apparently deploring in its entirety, has successfully discredited and de-legitimized Oakland's civic authorities and their police.

      They have done it through persistent militant nonviolent tactics. They have done it in the face of intense police violence and efforts at repression.

      Nowhere else in the country has Occupy been this effective.

      So what happens?

      Hedges and you and others attack Occupy Oakland. It's not really about Black Bloc; there's very little of it there or anywhere.

      It is about fear.

      It is about the fear that this might be a revolution, and it just might work.

      Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

      by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:15:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you want a revolution? (3+ / 0-)

        Tell us: after your version of the revolution, how will people get clean drinking water, and how will they dispose of their sewage?

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:31:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So really what you're objecting to (0+ / 0-)

          is the failure of Occupy Oakland to assure you that if they succeed your comfort and convenience will continue uninterrupted...

          I wish I knew how they're gonna do it!

          Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

          by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:48:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  running water, trash pickup (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Palafox, G2geek

            police, fire and other things aren't for

            comfort and convenience

            -You want to change the system, run for office.

            by Deep Texan on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:50:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  "Comfort and convenience"? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan, PsychoSavannah, G2geek

            The lack of sewage disposal and clean drinking water—and the diseases that propagate in their absence—are often the most significant cause of death in situations of natural disaster around the world, sometimes even surpassing the initial disaster.

            Those aren't matters of "comfort and convenience"; they can, and often do, mean the difference between life and death.

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 08:33:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Epic fail! Total and complete fail! YOU LOSE! (0+ / 0-)

            I picked those two items VERY carefully, because they were the two things that made the biggest difference in reducing the death rate from horrible diseases and extending human lifespan, in all of human history.

            Without clean drinking water and sewage disposal, humans live to about 35 - 45 years on average. And they die of horrible torturous diseases that make waterboarding seem downright humanitarian by comparison.

            Hunter/gatherers have long lifespans when they have access to clean water and when they dispose of their shit by burying it or otherwise keeping it from breeding flies or getting into their food and water.

            But once you get an agricultural or industrial society, the population, and the population density, rapidly grow to the point where feces and water have to be kept separated by deliberate planning and specialized labor on an organized basis, or the death rate will skyrocket.

            Ever have "intestinal flu"...? Explosive diarrhea and projectile vomiting, with dehydration and high fever, until you feel like you could just die? Imagine dying of that. Before you hit age 40. Very often when you're a little kid.

            If you think that's a matter of "convenience and comfort," you're out of your mind. Your ideas are bankrupt, your ideology is bankrupt, your methodology is bankrupt, and you have exactly zero credibility.

            Buh-bye, don't let the bathroom door swat you on the arse as you rush in there to puke your guts out!

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:39:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  so here's how I'd do it: (0+ / 0-)

            The elected Municipal Council hires a competent engineer for water supply, another for sewage disposal; both positions being permanent employees of the municipality. Each of the engineers draws up plans for their respective infrastructure: waterworks and sewage treatment plant, and networks of pipes under the streets, and so on. Each of them submits a budget to pay for the work to be done.

            The budget gets approved and added to the general municipal budget, funded in part by state and federal money collected via a progressive income tax, as well as property taxes and so on, and paid for up front by bonds.

            Then the municipality hires direct labor where possible, and private-sector local contractors where needed, all of it under requirements for union contracts and/or real employee-ownership. These positions are for construction and are temporary.

            When the work is complete, and the systems are ready to place into operation, the municipality hires additional workers and managers, the former also under union contracts, to operate and maintain the systems. Further the municipality contracts with a nearby University laboratory for regular testing of both the water supply and the sewage treatment plant's discharge, to ensure that both meet the relevant specifications for cleanliness and pollution control respectively.

            Water usage is billed to property owners on an escalating basis to encourage conservation, at rates that also cover the cost of sewage disposal.

            And while we're at it, garbage, refuse, and recycling are handled by municipal employees on union contract, and billed to property owners on the basis of the quantities of materials set out for collection.

            As for all these union contracts, they typically run for five years and are up for renewal and negotiation starting in the fourth year of the term. This ensures enough time to agree to terms, so that the employees are not put in the position of having to work without contract or go on strike.

            The result is a win/win situation all around. The people who live and work in town have clean water, sanitary sewage disposal, efficient garbage/refuse/recycling collection, and no outbreaks of cholera, dysentery, norovirus, or similar nasties. The city workers have good jobs at good wages, protected by collective bargaining. And nobody grumbles about paying for any of this because they see the news articles from the other town across the river, where people can't get themselves organized to keep their shit away from their water, or collect their garbage, and are constantly sick as a result.

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:58:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, no, no (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brown Thrasher, Liberaltarian

              This is for the Clean Up Working Group and the Water, Sewer, and Trash cadres organized into Affinity Groups to handle and present reports about at their Operational SpokesCouncils which will then send their Spokes to GA to make Proposals to be agendized, considered thoroughly and consensed on.

              There are no 'municipal employees' and 'unions', and all the rest of the systems of oppression, pshaw...

              Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

              by felix19 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 11:45:59 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  lol (0+ / 0-)

            clean water and trash pickup... um yeah i guess i am kind of attached to these bourgeois comforts. lol

      •  Do you think a revolution in the belly of the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan, Sylv

        beast is so simple? The core of world capitalism will be defeated by occupying a park, even shutting down a port for a day?

        In a real revolutionary situation, the armed power of the state would be engaged with decisisve and bloody effect against revoutionairies. Oakland PD is not the real armed power of the state.

        look at Chile, Allende. Just one example.

        Look at labor history in this nation. Capital is not afraid to use any means to retain domination.

        I find it hard to believe that Hedges fears an immanent revolution. He disagrees on tactics, and may not be as left as some anarchists. He also is a celebrity in the movement. Anarchism flattens hierarchies.

         

        I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

        by TomP on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:35:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't dispute -- at all -- how fundamentally (0+ / 0-)

          frightening to most people a successful revolution would be.

          That fear is permeating a large part of the Occupy Movement.

          Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

          by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:50:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  care to describe it? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TomP
            a successful revolution

            -You want to change the system, run for office.

            by Deep Texan on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:52:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  That was not my point. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan

            Did you misunderstand or are you being disengenuous?

            My point, to be clear, is that your attack on Hedges and others that they fear the possibility of a successful revolution is based on your own belief that such a revoution is immanent and could succeed.

            You answered by repeating your own position that most in occupy are cowards.

            I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

            by TomP on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:06:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  A "successful revolution" frightens me too... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan

            ...because I'm not sure that we would be the ones who "succeeded."

            I think it's likely that significant portions of the country would become right-wing theocracies, subjecting all people within their domain to one sect's narrow interpretation of their holy book.

            Given the choice between that and the current situation, I'd take the current situation ten times out of ten.

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 08:38:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good point (0+ / 0-)

              And I think it really does to the heart of the matter.

              A lot of Americans, I assume the majority, do not want a Revolution. And it doesn't take a genius to recognize that there are more Revolutionary portents in the air than than most people want to see.

              There was a lot of police instigated violence in Oakland on January 28. There's been more since then. I'm told hundreds of people were injured, though I only saw a few, and hundreds were arrested. All of the violence was instigated by the police. But somebody burned a flag and knocked over a display at city hall, and that became the media focus and the supposed justification for all the police violence and the mass arrests, which is crazy if you know the actual sequence of events, but most people never see or understand that.

              All they can suss out of what little information they get is that something looks kind of anti-American and revolutionary over there in Oakland, and the cops look like they're putting down a violent insurrection (which isn't what's happening at all), so... good. Put those vermin in their place.

              A real Revolution in this country is a terrifying notion to very many Americans, and if it looks like it might happen or is really happening somewhere, most Americans are just as happy to see it put down, as harshly as necessary.

              It's just too frightening.

              And you're right. A real revolution in this country is just as likely to be won -- through force of arms if no other way -- by the most rigid theocrats and quite possibly worse.

              Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

              by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 10:31:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  The revolution must be right around the corner (0+ / 0-)

            now with almost 100 people at the FTP march.

      •  Has OO has become distracted from OWS' purpose? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Palafox, Deep Texan

        Seems like it's no longer about inequality out there, rather about a narcissistic little war between protesters and police.

        OO

        has successfully discredited and de-legitimized Oakland's civic authorities and their police.
        Who gives a shit? Congratulations, you've made a good start towards turning a genuine movement for equality in America into a petty little grudge-fest.
  •  silly, (9+ / 0-)

    but, oh well, it's just history repeating itself. so predictable.

    it's all those soft Liberals' faults, if only they would stop being "chokeholds," Our Glorious Future would prevail.

    because The People are with Us!!!!!

    except they're not. and the "anarchists" are certainly not "with the people" either.

    The truth is "the kind of people" (I hate that phrase) who like to dress in black and throw bottles at the police and pretend to be "anarchists" despise "the sheeple" even more than than they hate Liberals.

    It's a weak foundation to build an anarchist DIY society on, isn't it? thinking yourself superior to everyone who doesn't think like you?

  •  In January my local Dem Club (12+ / 0-)

    invited a Fordham Univ history professor to our monthly breakfast to discuss OWS. He pointed out that good part of the energy in NY OWS came from students feeling overwhelmed by college loan debt. Somehow I'm thinking that OWS cohort is looking for government to be fair to them, not for government to disappear.

  •  Chris is right, anarchists are going to ruin (8+ / 0-)

    the great message coming out of the OWS movement which is notice how the 1% is exploiting the 99%

  •  People in NYC dressed in black? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, koNko

    That cant be!

    When I lived in NYC I had to do a huge separate load of black wash every week.

    PDBs (People Dressed in Black) are everywhere in NYC.

    •  me too. punk rock & geek colors. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan, Palafox, koNko, Sylv

      I've been wearing black-on-black since the punk rock days, and then it became "work clothes" for my sector of the geek universe.

      The violent assholes are making it difficult to wear black/black because one might be identified with them.

      Though if I ever get stopped by the police on the way to a jobsite and asked, I'll gladly fill them in on the details, and we'll probably have a good laugh about it.
      "I'm an engineer, I don't smash stuff, I build stuff."

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:34:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  LOL ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sylv, G2geek

        Last week I was traveling and it turned a bit cold so I bought a black hoodie to layer under my overcoat. And then I thought "Oh shit, black jeans, black All Stars, black hoodie, black Mac, black backpack ... will I get kicked off the plane and locked in a little room somewhere?"

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:41:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  heh, good question. (0+ / 0-)

          Though, once security checks your ID, they will see if you're flagged as a possible risk, or conversely, noted as someone with a clean background. So you could go through wearing purple with pink polka-dots and an anarchist circle-A logo, and they'd smile and say "enjoy your trip."

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:03:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  If I were a strategy consultant for the "1%" (0+ / 0-)

    would I want bottles thrown, city halls trashed, flags burnt, marchers with shields?

    Would I want Occupy participants to be focusing on the police and confrontations with police,

    or Occupy participants focusing on

    the economic mess, the murderous military actions by the U.S. government on the other side of the planet, prisoners kept and suspects killed without trial, the unfair legal system, the almost complete takeover of the federal government by transnational corporate cartels, the almost complete absence of real journalism, the increasing surveillance of citizens, joblessness...

    If I were a strategy consultant for the "1%" what would I say about the sitting students who were pepper-sprayed? What would I say about Occupy's relation to police?

    "...just ordinary people, you know, people who are not famous, if they get together, if they persist, if they defy the authorities, they can defeat the largest corporation in the world. - Howard Zinn

    by Sean X on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 10:45:46 AM PST

  •  I've lived in downtown Oakland for years (0+ / 0-)

    and I've seen a lot of damage done by various Black Bloc groups. During the Oscar Grant riots, I watched them trash my whole street and set my neighbors' cars on fire ten feet from my window. I wholeheartedly disapprove of such actions and those who commit them.

    But the only significant Black Bloc-related vandalism I've seen related to Occupy Oakland was during the General Strike—and I've seen no evidence that the group responsible for that was a regular part of Occupy Oakland. There are some Occupy Oakland participants who do wear black and/or masks, but they don't engage in the type of wanton vandalism that occurred during the General Strike or the Oscar Grant riots. It was specifically seeing them as part of the overall body of protesters on October 25 (when Scott Olsen was injured), and seeing them not hijack the movement with violent or destructive acts, that convinced me to support Occupy Oakland.

    There have been a few other incidents of vandalism that occurred in association with Occupy Oakland—like the vandalism of City Hall after the mass arrests on Move-In Day—but those were not Black Bloc actions. City Hall was vandalized by a handful of random protesters who had just endured a day-long barrage of tear gas, grenades, and baton rounds, and who were trying to respond to the ongoing beatings and arrests of their fellow protesters several blocks away. What they did was extremely detrimental to the movement, but a purge of anarchists or Black Bloc would have had absolutely no effect on their actions.

    •  Correct (0+ / 0-)

      Thanks for your first hand testimony. I haven't seen any Black Bloc vandalism in Oakland since General Strike Day, either.

      But boy, "Black Bloc anarchists" are accused of every incident everywhere; scapegoated, demonized and dehumanized just the way Hedges does.

      Sickening.

      Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

      by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 12:46:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hedges' criticisms might have been helpful (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Publius2008

        if he'd just said "the media's depiction of events in Oakland are hurting the movement" and left it at that. But instead he took the media narrative at face value, and used it as the basis for trying to impose a “solution” to a problem he actually knows nothing about. His ill-informed tirade is just an impediment to those who are actually trying to work out these issues on the ground.

  •  It's all in the interpretation, I suppose... (0+ / 0-)
    Anarchists are the ones who made the intellectual and initial physical space for there to even BE an Occupy Movement.
    of what or who an anarchist is...

    Where is this:

    He attacks anarchists and Black Bloc for making and deploying shields to protect themselves during the J28 actions in Oakland.

    H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

    by Knarfc on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 10:55:26 AM PST

  •  Ha! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    felix19

    A bourgeoisie writer denouncing activists from the comfort of his own home. Oh noes, what to do....

    I think he has done far more harm to his own credibility than any "educating" he thinks he was doing with this piece of crap full of misinformation and (barely) half truths.

    The cult of celebrity that has developed around OWS (and the attempts at co-opting by big labor groups and the Dems) is the real "cancer" of the movement. I dislike the analogy of cancer because I think it is disrespectful to the very real and very scary disease that is cancer but for the sake of continuity I used it here.

    Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper spray soon to be declared a vegetable.

    by JustJennifer on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 02:43:06 PM PST

    •  From a critical standpoint (0+ / 0-)

      It's a lazy and lousy piece of writing, poorly researched, filled with misinformation and irrelevancies, poorly structured, neither reasoned nor entertaining. 4 at best on a scale of 10.

      But look how many of his readers seemed to eat it up.

      I guess he knows his market...

      Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

      by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:42:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Most people commenting here don't get Occupy (0+ / 0-)

    Most of the negative is from people who always were negative anyway. They think the problems we face can be fixed by voting for a democrat. You aren't taking Hedges side when you think this. This is the Hedges I know and love:

    Greed's self-regulation is collapse. So is delusion's.

    by Publius2008 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 04:28:58 PM PST

  •  I wish I hadn't read the comments here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Publius2008, felix19

    I am proud of being an anarcho-syndicalist, a member of the IWW, and an anti-capitalist. I am anti-authoritarian, and believe in non-hierarchical, voluntary relationships. I am a good person. I love my three children, I am a good mom, a good friend, and a good comrade.

    Clearly the majority of the people on this site would label me an enemy without even knowing me.

    Sad.

    Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper spray soon to be declared a vegetable.

    by JustJennifer on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 04:35:03 PM PST

    •  And what's really sad is you can be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      felix19, JustJennifer

      all those things and not be black bloc. Most people here don't even have that minimal insight.

      Greed's self-regulation is collapse. So is delusion's.

      by Publius2008 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 04:53:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What is even more sad... (0+ / 0-)

        is people have no idea what black bloc even means here in the US!

        What is even worse is Hedges is a hypocrite for singing the praises of the Greeks and trashing the TINY actions here in the US. It is not in my backyard syndrome, and a classic statist neoliberal position. I think he just did a ton of damage to his reputation, which is too bad because he has always been well liked in many circles.

        Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper spray soon to be declared a vegetable.

        by JustJennifer on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:10:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JustJennifer

      It is sad.

      Americans are so heavily propagandized to fear the Other, and he just fanned the flames.

      His kind of demonization and scapegoating in this environment is deplorable.

      And those who adopted his perspective so eagerly and thoughtlessly are no better.

      It's an education, but not an illumination.

      Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

      by felix19 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:55:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I suppose another way to put it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    felix19, JustJennifer

    is that black bloc is not that significant that Hedges should have allowed it to be such a divisive force.

    People are using his trashing of black bloc to divide occupy. It was Hedges who was not be strategic when he published.

    Greed's self-regulation is collapse. So is delusion's.

    by Publius2008 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 04:52:13 PM PST

  •  I have read a dozen or more (0+ / 0-)

    responses to the Hedges article, but none better than this one so far.

    Hedging Our Bets on the Black Bloc - by Zakk Flash

    Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper spray soon to be declared a vegetable.

    by JustJennifer on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:15:48 PM PST

  •  Dang, I found another article! (0+ / 0-)

    I am starting to think maybe I need to thank Hedges because the writing that has come out in response to his piece has been fantastic. :)

    A Postcolonial reading of Chris Hedges

    Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper spray soon to be declared a vegetable.

    by JustJennifer on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:22:34 PM PST

  •  Hedges has seen a lot of war (0+ / 0-)

    I've seen a little of war. He may feel the same kind of anger that I feel when it's treated like a video game--when it's discussed so avidly. I feel the tremendous silliness of people living for generations in a country protected by two oceans and two compliant neighbors, and the uncaring ignorance of what people in other countries have gone through in war.

    Don't ever think that war is something to contemplate until there is absolutely no other way to survive. We aren't there. Don't go there.

    She didn't know it couldn't be done, so she went ahead and did it.

    by Boadicaea on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 01:14:17 AM PST

  •  Anarchists grow up, eventually. (0+ / 0-)
    He falsely asserts that Black Bloc is yet another of the innumerable Occupy Movement hijackers, yet he can point to no example of hijacking by Black Bloc -- in a Movement that was founded by anarchists.
    'was founded by anarchists' - this is an insult to all the non-anarchists involved in the Occupy Movement (also obviously false - all kinds of people created it. duh.) - remember this quote in the future. It is a common arrogant attitude by many anarchists.

    'no example of hijacking by Black Bloc'??

    This video may not be 'hijacking' but it certainly is an example of Black Bloc Anarchists attacking other Occupy demonstrators and forcing people into a violent situation they did not consent to....

    •  Objection noted (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brown Thrasher, Liberaltarian

      Nobody denies that there was a Black Bloc action -- one time, in Oakland on November 2, 2011.

      So far as I know there has not been another Black Bloc associated with Occupy in Oakland or anywhere else.

      There was one Black Bloc. Months ago. In Oakland. There hasn't been one since. Anywhere in association with Occupy. None.

      Obviously, this cancer is spreading like wildfire.

      Do you really believe that one Black Bloc on one day in Oakland during the General Strike in November last year is somehow capable of destroying Hedges' Revolution?

      I don't. It's absurd to think so.

      As for "founders" -- all sorts of people came together in New York prior to Sept 17, 2011, to assemble the elements that would form the operational foundations of Occupy Wall Street; a large number of them were anarchists. The whole OWS structure of GAs, working groups, affinity groups, horizontal (non-hierarchical) organization, and on and on are adapted directly from anarchist philosophy, thought and practice going back decades. So even the "founders" who weren't anarchists adopted many anarchist operational practices.

      It's not "arrogance" to say so.

      Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

      by felix19 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 02:07:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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